NGCP: Criminalize tree-planting beneath power lines in Mindanao
MANILA, Philippines — The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has partnered with local government units (LGUs) in Mindanao to lobby for a provincial ordinance that will criminalize planting of trees and other activities beneath transmission lines.
This is to solve the escalating right-of-way (ROW) violations in Mindanao, NGCP said.
NGCP showed Mindanao LGU officials how planting of trees under transmission lines adversely affects power delivery to the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Bukidnon, North Cotabato, Maguindanao, Zamboanga City, and the rest of the grid.
"ROW violations, along with bombing attacks, have become the significant problems for NGCP in Mindanao. It will be very difficult for us to deliver the available power supply to distribution utilities if we continue to encounter these problems," NGCP said.
"As it stands, the island is in the midst of a power supply deficiency, and these disruptive acts only aggravate the suffering of the Mindanaoans," the company added.
NGCP said it hopes that its coordination with local government officials will help resolve ROW issues in the region. (READ: Mindanao power issue to last until 2015 - Energy chief)
The company said it has repeatedly appealed to the government and the Philippine Army for assistance in resolving this matter.
The NGCP reported last month that a landowner demanded P478,650 ($10,082.15) as payment in exchange for access to the property of Balao Pundag, so that NGCP can clear the trees posing a threat to the transmission lines.
Around 1,500 trees planted along NGCP’s ROW are within Pundag’s property.
Asking price vs valuation
However, NGCP’s valuation of the trees, based on the local government of Lanao del Sur’s own Schedule of Market Value, amounts to only P77,750 ($1,637.70).
The landowner’s asking price is 6 times NGCP’s valuation, the company said.
NGCP said it legally holds the ROW in the areas near and around the transmission towers and posts.
The assets, however, are still government-owned.
NGCP is a privately-owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid.
The consortium, which holds the 25-year concession contract to operate the country's power transmission network, is comprised of Monte Oro Grid Resources Corporation led by Henry Sy Jr, Calaca High Power Corporation led by Robert Coyiuto Jr, and the State Grid Corporation of China as technical partner. – Rappler.com
$1 = P47.47